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  • John Whitehead

Positioned for a Purpose

Although I have been blessed to work with many people in high levels of leadership across a wide spectrum, I have never been a respecter of position. In fact, I espouse the point of view; respect is earned regardless of the position.


Though true, I am also aware there are many in positions of leadership who demand respect and, in the cases where my job may have depended on it, I have reluctantly given the level of respect required.


Being exposed to numerous examples of this, I have learned valuable lessons which I have tried to implement into my life and style of leadership.


A true irony is, in my exposure to these types of people, I have found many of the lessons I have learned to be practical and easy to implement. However, I have also realized many of those lessons have been what not to do.


These are the lessons that have had the greatest impact on my life and afforded me the opportunity to grow in ways I would not have imagined.


Though we are all “positioned for a purpose”, many fail to realize the purpose is so we can become the best version of ourselves. For this to occur, we must be aware of who we are and pay close attention so we can discern when to follow and when to go in another direction.

The problem we face is many who are “positioned for a purpose” seem to believe their purpose is to demand others follow because they say so.


Here is where I have found the greatest tension.


Resistance to positional leadership is very real for me. I do not believe it is because I am naturally unwilling to follow. I believe it is because your position requires you to live out the purpose for which it has been given. The primary purpose is, or should be, to equip and empower others. Not to exert your position over them.


To avoid this requires us to set aside our desire for personal recognition, respect, and obedience, and become aware, accept, and embrace the opportunity our positions in life provide.


To do so, we must be secure in who we are and not fear losing the position we have been given. Insecurity is very real in high levels of leadership, which is a disqualifying characteristic.

If we can acknowledge we have been “positioned for a purpose”, perhaps we can see that purpose as an opportunity to see someone else achieve at a higher level than we have.


When we do, I believe we will be living out the purpose for which we have been positioned.


Philippians 3:13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead,


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